How To Fix A Sunroof That Wont Close All The Way

How To Fix A Sunroof That Wont Close All The Way

Last Updated on July 21, 2023 by Chase Manhattan

A really annoying thing with sunroofs on cars is that they get stuck. So, they won’t close all the way and you have to leave the car like that. What to do in these situations? How to fix a sunroof that won’t close all the way.

To fix a sunroof that won’t close all the way you need to find out what’s wrong with the mechanism. Troubleshoot until you find the problem and then repair the sunroof mechanism, and sometimes it will need to be cleaned to restore its function.

Perhaps one of the coolest accessories you can add to your car is a sunroof. Although a sunroof may come as part of a luxury car for no extra cost, some carmakers offer it as an accessory for some middle-level models.

Even if your car isn’t equipped with a sunroof when you first buy it, there are a number of car accessory shops that can add an aftermarket sunroof if you want one later.

Occasionally, a sunroof won’t properly close completely. One might think that this would be difficult to fix and would depend on a professional mechanic at a dealership to handle it. Actually, if you have some do-it-yourself skills, you can do the repair and save a little money.

This is a complete guide on how to close a sunroof that won’t close all the way.

Ron Barkley

What Is A Sunroof For On A Car

What Is A Sunroof For On A Car

Sunroofs provide us with extra light and ventilation when the weather is nice. They are also referred to as a moonroof in some cases. [Source]

The first sunroof was a retractable metal panel made in 1937. Thirty years later, the moonroof was introduced. A moonroof was made of tinted glass and would let a bit of light get in even after being closed.

There are some arguments over the nomenclature of sunroofs or moonroofs but we will not get into that. Most sunroofs fall under two categories:

Internal built in sunroof: These sunroof glasses are fitted between the headliner and the metal skin of the roof and retract into a pocket specifically made for it. These are the ones that exist most commonly.

External sunroof: They are present on top of the roof. They are mostly made of glass panels and some are textiles. They retract into tracks built above the roofs.

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Why Is My Sunroof Not Closing

Why Is My Sunroof Not Closing

Most of the time sticking sunroofs are due to an issue with the electric sunroof motor, or with electrical components like a blown fuse or a faulty sunroof switch. To find out why your sunroof is not closing, you will have to do some troubleshooting.

Your sunroof wont close all the way for a number of potential reasons:

  • glass has come off the sunroof tracks
  • sunroof wiring has become damaged
  • there’s a blown fuse
  • there’s too much debris in the tracks
  • you have broken sunroof glass stuck in the tracks
  • you have a defective motor

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Bad Sunroof Motor or Faulty Sunroof Cables

First of all, the sunroof won’t close all the way if you have a bad motor mechanism.

When you push the button to open and close the roof, an electric motor manually pulls in and pushes out the sunroof. This is a very delicate mechanism that can easily break.

The motor that’s rolling the sunroof cable maybe not working. You may even have broken cables. To find what’s wrong, you will have to get your hands on the sunroof motor to begin diagnosing these mechanical problems.

Electrical problems are another reason why a sunroof wouldn’t close. Bad battery power or a faulty wire often cause a malfunctioning sunroof. Always check your battery voltage to determine if this is the case.

I guess you will notice that your battery is low on power if that was the case. So, it must be the sunroof wiring. If the wire is faulty, the message that the mechanism should close the sunroof won’t go through.

The installment of the sunroof itself can also be an issue. If the sunroof is not installed correctly, or if the alignment somehow gets messed up. This will be particularly obvious if you notice that your sunroof leaks.

There will be an obstacle that won’t allow the sunroof to close.

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How To Troubleshoot A Sunroof That Won’t Close

How To Troubleshoot A Sunroof That Won't Close

Troubleshooting a sunroof that won’t close can’t be done if you don’t know what you are doing.

So, troubleshooting by itself is not easy to do. You need at least some kind of experience with fixing car doors or replacing wires for windows. Otherwise, you won’t know what to do.

If that’s the case, I highly recommend hiring a professional to fix the sunroof. You may damage the sunroof even more or damage a wire for some of the window controls.

  • Remove the glass from the sunroof to access the mechanism.
  • Check for any damage to the cable or the motor. 
  • Try closing the sunroof to check for any obstacles in the mechanism. 
  • Check the wire connection for any damages.

Repairing A Sunroof That Won’t Close

Repairing A Sunroof That Won't Close

Depending on what the issue, you may need to visit a professional or fix it yourself. Again, if you don’t have any experience with this, visit a professional.

If you feel like you know what you are doing, you can read on. Problems with the electric motor and cables of the mechanism, you can probably fix yourself.

The mechanism is easy to access and fixing parts doesn’t require any kind of special tools. You just have to know what you are doing and what you need to replace.

You can also fix the wire yourself if you don’t need to remove the liners of the interior of the car. Be sure to not damage any other wires and cut off the battery from the vehicle.

However, if you are having problems with the sunroof alignment and installment, visit a professional, don’t do the repairs yourself.

Fixing A Sunroof That Won’t Close: Instructional Video

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Closing Thoughts

With all of this being said, if your sunroof won’t close all the way it’s most likely time to visit a professional.

If there’s something blocking the mechanism, you may not need to go to a professional mechanic. But for any repairs, it’s almost necessary.

If you don’t know what you are doing, you are going to cause even more damage.

Remember to not leave your car unattended while the sunroof is open because it’s exposed to car theft.

FAQs For Sunroof Not Closing

Related Questions And Other FAQs

How Do You Reset A Sunroof Manually?

The process for resetting a sunroof can vary per each different make and model of car. But, one of the more universal methods is best used when it needs a reset after the car battery has been disconnected or replaced.  To use this method, you should turn the ignition switch on. Then push the sunroof button forward to close if it is not already closed, then release the button.

How Much Does It Cost To Fix When A Sunroof Wont Close All The Way?

The cost of fixing a sunroof that won’t close depends on what kind of repairs the sunroof needs. If you need to replace the sunroof glass then you are looking at a price of between $300-$400, and a process taking a couple of hours. Replacing the sunroof motor will cost $100-$250

Why Won’t My Sunroof Open?

Unfortunately, the same reasons that could leave you with a stuck sunroof that won’t close all the way, will also leave you with a sunroof that’s stuck closed. I prefer to check for electrical problems first, like a faulty switch or a broken fuse. If it’s related to mechanical issues, it will likely require a visit to a professional mechanic.

Can You Replace a Sunroof Cable?

Yes, you can replace a sunroof cable when it has gone bad. This is a relatively cheaper option when compared to other issues you can run into such as electrical issues or a bad sunroof motor.

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